Cradle Robbers

film no. 28

technical details:

Production A-28.

Filmed January 28 to February 9, 1924. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted May 12, 1924 by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU20189. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.

Released June 1, 1924. It was the 26th film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler.

Opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Cradle Robbers".'

Released into TV syndication as Mischief Makers episode no. 1028, "The Baby Show," copyrighted Sep. 1, 1960, with registration number LP17333.

the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
Credited in the film as a presenter.
Directed by Robert F. McGowan
This credit appears in the film, but without his middle initial.
Photographed by Frank Young and Blake Wagner
Maltin & Bann don't provide photography credit for this film. The film itself credits Young, while the Wagner credit comes from Joseph McBride's Frank Capra - The Catastrophe Of Success. It's likely that Young would not have been present during the first week of filming, since it would have conflicted with his involvement in the Stan Laurel series. Therefore, Wagner was likely to have been the initial photographer, and replaced midway through filming by Young. No photographer, incidentally, is listed in the payroll summaries for this period.
Edited by T. J. Crizer
Credited in the film but not by Maltin & Bann. The 'T' stands for Thomas.
Titles by H. M. Walker
This credit appears in the film.
Props by Charles Oelze
This credit derives from Oelze's payroll status as Our Gang prop man during this period.
Story by Hal E. Roach
This credit doesn't appear in the film. Frank Capra contributed gags to this film.
Animal trainer: Tony Campanaro
He was Pal's trainer.
Teacher: Fern Carter
Released by Pathé Exchange, Inc.
Passed by the National Board of Review
Indicated in the film.
studio personnel
general manager - Warren Doane
assistant general manager - L. A. French
secretary-treasurer - C. H. Roach
construction supervisor - C. E. Christensen
still photographer - Bud "Stax" Graves
transportation director - Bob Davis
possible uncredited involvement
writing - Robert F. McGowan, Thomas J. Crizer and James Parrott may have also been among the gag writers.

the kids:

featured players
Joe Cobb as "Joe"
Lead role. He's basically the star of this short, being the one dressed as a baby, and being chased by the cop.
Mickey Daniels
Featured role. He gets plenty of screen time, and is essentially the leader of the gang in this short.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins
Supporting role. The nickname doesn't appear in this print. He contributes his usual bits of comedy relief.
Mary Kornman
Supporting role. She appears at the adult's baby show, then has the idea for the gang's version.
Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison
Supporting role. The nickname doesn't appear in this print. Though still a main player, he had long taken a back seat to Mickey, Joe and Farina. This was his final appearance in the series.
Jackie Condon
Supporting role. He's paired with Dick in this short, but is given mostly ensemble work.
Dick Henchen as "Dick"
Supporting role. He's paired with Jackie in this short and appears basically in the same shots.
George "Sonny Boy" Warde
Supporting role. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Sonny Loy Warde (he was later known as Sonny Loy). He appears pretty much throughout the film.

other kids
Peggy Ahern
Bit part. Mary and Mickey appraise her baby.
Lassie Lou Ahern
Bit part. She's the smallest girl in the attic scene.
Gabe Saenz
Bit part. He's shown in the wagon with the gang regulars.
Clarke Robinson
Bit part. Ernie talks to him as he's weighing the black baby.
Buddy McNeal
Extra. The ledger reveals his presence in this film, and he appears to be to the right of Mickey as the kids are about to pile into the wagon.
other kids
Bit parts.
(1.) An additional boy helping Ernie weigh the black baby.
(2.) Three girls in the animal section.

the babies
Jannie Hoskins
Small part. I'm pretty sure she's the smaller of the two black babies.
other babies
Bit parts and extras. IMDb credits Carmencita Johnson as one of the babies, and this seems to be corroborated by the payroll ledger.
(1.) The other black baby shown with Jannie.
(2.) The baby playing Mary's little sister.
(3.) The three babies playing Mickey's, Jackie's and Dick's younger siblings.
(4.) The Asian baby played Sonny Boy's younger sibling.
(5.) The baby referred to as "Cornelius," which the gang switches with Joe.
(6.) The baby being examined at the adult show.
(7.) The baby being examined by Mickey at the kid's show.
(8.) The three gypsy babies.
(9.) Various other babies in the background of different scenes.

questionable listings
In the 1977 edition of their book, Maltin & Bann list Nanette Fabray, but put a question mark after her name. In the 1992 edition, they don't bother listing her, and I can see why, since none of the girls look like her.

the animals:

Small part. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. He's Joe's dog, and gets a good moment with the fishing pole, pulling the toupee off of the bald man.
other animals
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) A white horse pulling the gypsy's wagon. Perhaps "Duke" from "The Ol' Gray Hoss" (no. 78).
(2.) The horse pulling the second wagon.
(3.) A second horse behind the white horse. Could be the horse From "Fast Company" (no. 16).
(4.) Three baby goats in the kids' show.
(5.) Two puppies in the kids' show.
(6.) Numerous ducklings, and possibly chicks, at the kids' show.
(7.) Several chickens stolen by the gypsy.

the adults:

William Gillespie as the gypsy, and as the officer chasing Joe
Supporting role. Both of his parts are fairly notable, particularly as the gypsy.
Chris Lynton as one of the officers, and as one of the baby show officials
Small part. This print doesn't make it possible to verify his presence at the baby show, but he is the cop that the mothers gather around. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Allen Cavan.
Helen Gilmore as Jackie's mom
Small part. She's first seen whisking Jackie and the baby away from the gypsy, then is convinced later on that the gypsy is responsible for the missing babies.
Buster Brodie as the bald man
Bit part. He loses his toupee as Joe walks by with the fishing pole.
Beth Darlington as the girl with the bald boyfriend
Bit part. She just might possibly be one of the nurses, too.
Earl Mohan as the traffic cop
Bit part. This is just a guess, since the print is so poor, but he resembles him when he smiles.
Edna Hall as one of the mothers
Bit part. She's the one who picks up the dog at the end of the film.
Dorothy Vernon as one of the mothers
Bit part. She's in the crowd of mothers at the end. Listed in the payroll ledger as Dorothy Burns.
Lyle Tayo as one of the mothers
Bit part. According to Maltin & Bann. One of the pair of women that Joe goo-goos at resembles her a bit, but she's probably among the women in the big chase at the end.
Madge Hunt as one of the mothers
Extra. She can be spotted as the mothers complain to the cop about the gypsy.
other adults
Bit parts and extras. Maltin & Bann list Clara Guiol among the baby show officials, but I can't identify her in the available print.
(1.) Another cop that joins Gillespie in his chase.
(2.) Three gypsy women shown in the back of the wagon.
(3.) A guy getting mud in his face.
(4.) A doctor and three nurses, one of whom may be Beth Darlington.
(5.) The two women who initially visit Joe, one of whom kisses him.
(6.) Two ugly women who want to kiss Joe, but don't get anywhere with him.
(7.) The mother of Cornelius, the baby the gang switches with Joe.
(8.) Several other adults at the baby show.
(9.) Several additional mothers in the ending chase.

the locations:

Motor Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
The scene with the fishing poles and baby carriages was shot on the block along the east side of Motor just north of Featherstone. When the boys first meet up with Mary, they're standing in this lot, with the houses at the southwest and northwest corners of Motor and Irene in the background. The shots of Mary show the Scholtz Blacksmith Shop behind her. This was located on National Boulevard and was the back entrance to the Palms Garage at 3304 Motor. This is also where the gypsy wagon parks when we first see it. When Mickey and Ernie meet up with Sonny Boy, they're in front of the building that would eventually be the Master Mfg. Co. at 3316 Motor. The building has a few signs added to the front to make it look like a Chinese laundry.
Mentone Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
In the scene where the kids decide to start their own baby show, they're at the back entrance of a property on Mentone. In these shots, the vacant lot on the southwest corner of Motor and Woodbine is behind them, with the Masonic Hall at 3402 Motor visible. The farm-like Mentone property is where the baby show takes place. The gypsy pulls up in his wagon along the alley that separates the property from the vacant lot, with views of the house in the background of these shots.
Overland Avenue, Palms district
This is where the mothers and cops chase down the gypsy wagon at the end of the film.
Hal E. Roach Studios
The administration building was used for the front of the Baby Show building.
Washington Boulevard and Main Street, Culver City
When the stroller-pushing boys come up to the traffic cop, they're at the T-intersection where Main meets Washington. Behind the cop is Slater's Drug Store, and in one of the shots, the right side of the building can be seen, where the First National Bank of Culver City was located at the corner of Washington and Van Beuren. Shots of the kids in this scene show Main Street behind them.
Van Beuren Place, Culver City
The mothers summon the police at the combination City Hall/Police Department/Fire Department located at 411-415 Van Beuren just south of the First National Bank of Culver City. The original City Hall of Culver City was replaced by the Culver Hotel, and this second location was used temporarily until funds could be secured for the more famous third location.
Mentone Avenue and Woodbine Street, Palms district, Los Angeles
Shown briefly as a mother and a cop walk past it is Berean Chapel Foresquare Church at 3371 Mentone, on the northwest corner of this intersection. Another shot shows the two of them on the northeast corner.
Palms Lumber Co., Palms district, Los Angeles
One of the shots of the gypsy standing with the boys shows this business behind them at 10321 National Boulevard.
Cimarron Street
There are two or three street corners that show the signs with the street names on them. It's impossible to read them in the available video release, but the home movie fragment reveals one of them to be Cimarron St. This street runs north to south in the city of Los Angeles and was located several blocks east of the Roach studio.
vacant lot
In the shot where the dog pulls the toupee off of the fishing line, Joe is standing in the vacant lot that was later used in "Olympic Games" (no. 63).


12 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Two days after the final retake date for "Commencement Day" (no. 26), the 'start' date for "Cradle Robbers" arrived on Jan. 28th. Shooting continued until the 'finish' date of Feb. 9th. No shooting took place on Feb. 3rd, which was a Sunday. After this, two weeks passed before the Our Gang unit began shooting "Jubilo, Jr." (no. 29).

The 1924 studio datebook reveals what the weather was like on the various shooting dates. Most of the dates were described as 'clear,' with Feb. 2nd, 7th, 8th and 9th described as 'cloudy,' and Jan. 28th described as 'rain AM.' No description was given for the two Sundays.

This film was the second of six in the fifth 'series' of Our Gang films.

50 still images were printed into numerous press photos to promote this film.

The adult version of the show is called the '5th Annual Baby Show,' held from May 10th through 15th.

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© Robert Demoss.

My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Rob Stone (for providing the production number and shooting dates)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)
Matthew Lydick (for the correct spelling of Gabe Saenz's last name)
Jesse Brisson (for IDing Buster Brodie, Edna Hall and Buddy McNeal)
James A. Gipson (for adding more details about the animals seen during the kids' baby show)

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